The REAL Difference Between a Katydid, Locusts, and Cicada (Prepare to be Mind-blown)
Your whole life is a lie.
On The Rob's Radio Show with Maddie West, the topic of interchageable terms came up. For example, some people refer to soda as "pop", while others simply call it "coke." This sparked a whole topic of conversation of people passionately defending the 'correct' way to say things.
Here in the Midwest, you've probably seen and heard the bugs commonly referred to as 'cicadas', 'locusts', or 'katydids'. Most people use the three terms interchangeably, but we are typically referring the same bug when we're saying it. You know, the things that leave behind the gross little brown shells and make all that ruckus as sun down?
Well, turns out, they're all three totally different bugs.
This is a Cicada:
This is a Katydid:
And THIS is a Locust:
I know. My mind was blown too. If you're like me, the picture above is 100% a grasshopper, but NOPE, we're wrong. It's actually a locusts. According to Google, a locusts is "a large and mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. It is usually solitary, but from time to time there is a population explosion, and it migrates in vast swarms that cause extensive damage to crops."
So, basically I've using cicada and locusts interchangeably and I've been super wrong my whole life. THEY'RE ALL DIFFERENT BUGS! I feel like my life is a lie.
As far as katydid goes, I've never called a cicada a katydid, but I know those two terms are also used when referring to the same bug. We're all wrong.
Finally, to make things more confusing, this is a picture of your run-of-the-mill everyday GRASSHOPPER:
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